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The art equipment for measuring the horse’s heart rate

Authors:
  • University of Maribor Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Abstract and Figures

Purpose: of this paper: Heart rate is a reliable indicator of the stress. Non-invasive methods have advantage over the methods that have a negative influence on the condition of an animal. When breeding sport horses, which undergo stressful training every day, it is required, from an ethical aspect, to monitor their capabilities by using most advanced electronic devices Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3.Design/methodology/approach: The original Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software facilitates the analysis of individual training phases and gives the number of heart beats, average heart rate, average speed and distance covered in individual training phases.Findings: Heart rate increased, in warming up phase, from the value associated with a resting horse (30 to 40 bpm) approximately in one minute, while, during the slow cooling down phase, ten minutes were required for the heart rate to reach the afore-mentioned value. During quick trotting heart rate are 112 heart beats per minute, while during steeplechase phase, it increased to the value of 160 to 170 heart beats per minute.Research limitations/implications: To receive heart rate without disturbances already we moisten the skin on the contact spots, using a mixture of water and electrolytes (Salvana Nutrilyt). Placing receiver on the saddle close by the T56H transmitter was the optimal choice.Practical implications: Modern equipment makes monitoring the horse’s heart rate accurately and to perform, safely and without disturbances, exercises required during training. It also checks the heart rate, which indicates the horse’s health.Originality/value: Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are state of the art products that facilitate the receipt of the horse’s heart rate signals. The accuracy of the acquired results can be compared with those obtained with ECG measurements.
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Research paper
180 © Copyright by International OCSCO World Press. All rights reserved. 2010
VOLUME 41
ISSUES 1-2
July-August
2010
of Achievements in Materials
and Manufacturing Engineering
of Achievements in Materials
and Manufacturing Engineering
The art equipment for measuring
the horse’s heart rate
M. Janzekovic a,*, J. Prisenk a, B. Mursec a,
P. Vindis a, D. Stajnko a, F. Cus b
a Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Maribor,
Pivola 10, 2311 Hoce - Slivnica, Slovenia
b Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor,
Smetanova 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
* Corresponding author: E-mail address: marjan.janzekovic@uni-mb.si
Received 15.02.2010; published in revised form 01.07.2010
Manufacturing and processing
ABSTRACT
Purpose: of this paper: Heart rate is a reliable indicator of the stress. Non-invasive methods have advantage over
the methods that have a negative influence on the condition of an animal. When breeding sport horses, which
undergo stressful training every day, it is required, from an ethical aspect, to monitor their capabilities by using
most advanced electronic devices Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3.
Design/methodology/approach: The original Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software facilitates the analysis
of individual training phases and gives the number of heart beats, average heart rate, average speed and distance
covered in individual training phases.
Findings: Heart rate increased, in warming up phase, from the value associated with a resting horse (30 to 40
bpm) approximately in one minute, while, during the slow cooling down phase, ten minutes were required for
the heart rate to reach the afore-mentioned value. During quick trotting heart rate are 112 heart beats per minute,
while during steeplechase phase, it increased to the value of 160 to 170 heart beats per minute.
Research limitations/implications: To receive heart rate without disturbances already we moisten the skin on
the contact spots, using a mixture of water and electrolytes (Salvana Nutrilyt). Placing receiver on the saddle
close by the T56H transmitter was the optimal choice.
Practical implications: Modern equipment makes monitoring the horse’s heart rate accurately and to perform,
safely and without disturbances, exercises required during training. It also checks the heart rate, which indicates
the horse’s health.
Originality/value: Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are state of the art products that facilitate
the receipt of the horse’s heart rate signals. The accuracy of the acquired results can be compared with those
obtained with ECG measurements.
Keywords: Technological devices and equipment; Polar monitors; Heart rate; Horse stress
Reference to this paper should be given in the following way:
M. Janzekovic, J. Prisenk, B. Mursec, P. Vindis, D. Stajnko, F. Cus, The art equipment for measuring the horse’s
heart rate, Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering 41/1-2 (2010) 180-186.
1. Introduction
Heart rate is a reliable indicator of the impact that stress and
agitation have upon an animal. Non-invasive methods must be
used to monitor heart rate. They have advantage over the methods
that have a negative influence on the condition of an animal.
When breeding sport horses, which undergo stressful training
every day, it is required, from an ethical aspect, to monitor their
capabilities by using most advanced electronic devices.
For the research, adjusted devices also used by top sportsmen
during training were used to measure heart rate at rest and during
feeding. To continuously collect heart rate data during
steeplechase training phase, a special device was required,
intended exclusively for horses involved in sports. The measuring
device had a transmitter and an elastic belt, where the receiver
was fixed. Heart rate was received optimally after contact spots
along the area under both electrodes and the horse's hair had been
moistened with electrolyte solution. A similar heart rate
measuring method was developed by [1] when he researched the
condition of highly productive milk cows while they were fed
with compound feed in a 2 x 2 tandem milking parlour [2, 3].
To measure heart rate continuously and to receive data during
steeplechase phase, it was required to define accurately the
optimal position of the new Polar Equine RS800cx G3 equipment.
Heart rate in individual training phases was defined and,
simultaneously, the horse’s speed of movement was monitored,
using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device and Google
Earth software.
2. Description of the approach, work
methodology, materials for research,
assumptions, experiments etc.
2.1. Heart rate measuring method in the
training phase
Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are very
advanced products, which are the result of many years of high-tech
research and development performed by the Finnish company
of Polar Electro Oy. They make it possible to receive heart rate
signals on a wireless basis. In terms of accuracy, they can be
compared with ECG measurements. Polar Sport Tester is a product,
which has been developed and enhanced by the above-mentioned
company for many years; it is used by well-known top sportsmen
all over the world. Polar Equine RS800cx has been developed and
produced exclusively to monitor heart rate of sport horses during
training. A G3 GPS device made it possible to monitor the horse’s
speed of movement during the entire training phase.
Modern equipment makes it possible [9, 15]:
x to monitor the horse’s heart rate accurately and to perform,
safely and without disturbances, exercises required during
training,
x to define the horse’s reactions to exercises performed during
training,
x to monitor the recovery of a horse after an injury and its
calming down after the training and
x to check the heart rate, which indicates the horse’s health.
2.2. Contents of the set
The Polar RS800CX G3 Equine is the most complete training
system for horses available. This set contains:
x an RS800CX receiver, which receives, displays and records
all the data measured by the T56H transmitter and the G3
sensor (Fig. 1),
Fig. 1. Complete training system with T56H transmitter, G3 GPS
sensor with battery and RS800CX receiver
x a G3 GPS sensor with a battery, which measures speed and
distance in real time,
x a T56H transmitter, which measures the horse’s heart rate in
real time,
x ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software (Fig. 2), which displays
a training log, graphs, tables and reports on a PC to further
analyse the data recorded during training,
Fig. 2. A ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software
x a USB adapter (Fig. 3), which uses infrared connection to
transfer the recorded data from a receiver to PC.
181
READING DIRECT: www.journalamme.org
Manufacturing and processing
1. Introduction
Heart rate is a reliable indicator of the impact that stress and
agitation have upon an animal. Non-invasive methods must be
used to monitor heart rate. They have advantage over the methods
that have a negative influence on the condition of an animal.
When breeding sport horses, which undergo stressful training
every day, it is required, from an ethical aspect, to monitor their
capabilities by using most advanced electronic devices.
For the research, adjusted devices also used by top sportsmen
during training were used to measure heart rate at rest and during
feeding. To continuously collect heart rate data during
steeplechase training phase, a special device was required,
intended exclusively for horses involved in sports. The measuring
device had a transmitter and an elastic belt, where the receiver
was fixed. Heart rate was received optimally after contact spots
along the area under both electrodes and the horse's hair had been
moistened with electrolyte solution. A similar heart rate
measuring method was developed by [1] when he researched the
condition of highly productive milk cows while they were fed
with compound feed in a 2 x 2 tandem milking parlour [2, 3].
To measure heart rate continuously and to receive data during
steeplechase phase, it was required to define accurately the
optimal position of the new Polar Equine RS800cx G3 equipment.
Heart rate in individual training phases was defined and,
simultaneously, the horse’s speed of movement was monitored,
using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device and Google
Earth software.
2. Description of the approach, work
methodology, materials for research,
assumptions, experiments etc.
2.1. Heart rate measuring method in the
training phase
Polar Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are very
advanced products, which are the result of many years of high-tech
research and development performed by the Finnish company
of Polar Electro Oy. They make it possible to receive heart rate
signals on a wireless basis. In terms of accuracy, they can be
compared with ECG measurements. Polar Sport Tester is a product,
which has been developed and enhanced by the above-mentioned
company for many years; it is used by well-known top sportsmen
all over the world. Polar Equine RS800cx has been developed and
produced exclusively to monitor heart rate of sport horses during
training. A G3 GPS device made it possible to monitor the horse’s
speed of movement during the entire training phase.
Modern equipment makes it possible [9, 15]:
x to monitor the horse’s heart rate accurately and to perform,
safely and without disturbances, exercises required during
training,
x to define the horse’s reactions to exercises performed during
training,
x to monitor the recovery of a horse after an injury and its
calming down after the training and
x to check the heart rate, which indicates the horse’s health.
2.2. Contents of the set
The Polar RS800CX G3 Equine is the most complete training
system for horses available. This set contains:
x an RS800CX receiver, which receives, displays and records
all the data measured by the T56H transmitter and the G3
sensor (Fig. 1),
Fig. 1. Complete training system with T56H transmitter, G3 GPS
sensor with battery and RS800CX receiver
x a G3 GPS sensor with a battery, which measures speed and
distance in real time,
x a T56H transmitter, which measures the horse’s heart rate in
real time,
x ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software (Fig. 2), which displays
a training log, graphs, tables and reports on a PC to further
analyse the data recorded during training,
Fig. 2. A ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software
x a USB adapter (Fig. 3), which uses infrared connection to
transfer the recorded data from a receiver to PC.
1. Introduction
2. Description of the
approach, work metho-
dology, materials for
research, assumptions,
experiments etc.
2.1. Heart rate measuring method
in the training phase
2.2. Contents of the set
Research paper
182
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
M. Janzekovic, J. Prisenk, B. Mursec, P. Vindis, D. Stajnko, F. Cus
Volume 41 Issues 1-2 July-August 2010
Fig. 3. An USB adapter
2.3. Possibilities of use of the Polar ProTrainer
5 Equine edition package and the description
of T56H transmitter
The enclosed USB adapter made it possible to transfer data via
an infrared connection to Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine Edition
software. This software makes it possible not only to transfer data
but also to save the data in a systematic way and, at a later stage, to
process the data on a descriptive basis. With data transfer of an
individual training session, the original graph was displayed on the
screen. The curves in the graph indicated the heart rate activity and
the horse’s speed of movement. By previously having set both the
minimum heart rate (30 heart beats per minute - bmp) and the
maximum heart rate (230 heart beats per minute - bmp), a horse’s
heart rates during low, medium and maximum stress were indicated
in the graph. In this way, heart rate at the entrance into individual
phases of stress was clearly indicated [4, 11, 16]. Describe the
methods and the significance of monitoring heart rate of horses,
whereby they define the minimum heart rate limit between 30 and
40 heart beats per minute and the maximum heart rate limit of
a grown-up horse between 220 and 260 heart beats per minute.
A G3 GPS device was used to monitor the speed of movement of
horses during individual training phases. A receiver connected with
the G3 device recorded the horse’s speed of movement and the
distances measured during individual training phases. The average
speed of movement of a horse was given at the pace of km/h, whereas
in graphs, the speed was denoted at the pace of min/km. As a training
session was divided into several phases (trotting, galloping and
steeplechase), it is possible to compare the average speed with the
speed of individual paces (Table 1) quoted by [5, 10].
On the basis of graphical presentation indicating the duration
of stress phases in relation to heart rate (Fig. 4), it was possible to
analyse the influence of training on the heart rate of a horse and to
define the intensity level of stress factors that influence the horse
and its condition during training [12, 14].
The afore-mentioned software is useful not only for
monitoring heart rate, which indicates the influence of stressful
situations upon the horse, but it can reliably indicate occurring or
imminent injuries. In relation to one riding discipline (i.e.
endurance riding), the heart rate has a decisive role when deciding
whether a certain horse can continue competing or whether this
horse will be excluded due to exceeded prescribed heart rate limit.
Table 1.
Speed of movement during individual movement phases [9]
Exercise Speed Heart rate
gaits raiting Foundation
or metres/sec. metres/min km/hour bpm
30í50
basic exercises Pre-start 40í65
Walking 1í2 125 6í8 50í91
Slow Trotting 3í4 250 10í15 80í125
Quick Trotting 4í5 300 15í18 100í160
Cantering 5í6 400 18í21 120í170
Gallop 6í9 500 24í32 160í200
Fast Gallop 13 + 600 + 36í48 + 205í240 +
Fig. 4. Illustrating the duration of stress phases in relation to heart rate (original copy)
2.3. Possibilities of use of the Polar
ProTrainer 5 Equine edition
package and the description
of T56H transmitter
This evolution of the WearLink Equine transmitter launched
in 2007 has been fully developed in textile and does not cause any
discomfort to the horse. It features textile electrodes made from
conductive elastic fibres, which adapt perfectly to the movements
of a galloping horse. These electrodes include an absorbent
cushion to ensure permanent contact with the skin and assure
the necessary dampness for relaying the heart rate signal.
The electronic part of the transmitter can be detached to change
the battery and replace the electrode strap.
2.4. Fixing the T56H transmitter on the horse
Previous accustoming of the horse to the transmitter
(habituation) and accurate fixing of electrodes made it possible
to receive heart rate continuously. By habituation to breast collar,
the influence of possible stressful situations, which would only
increase the horse’s heart rate, upon the horse was reduced. When
fixing, the first step is to identify the positive and the negative
electrode. Putting the transmitter into place is extremely simple.
The positive (+) electrode is first placed under the saddlecloth, the
negative electrode (í) is then fixed to the saddle girth and finally
the transmitter is fixed to the saddle (Fig. 5). It is essential
to moisten the contact spots between the electrodes and the hair
as otherwise the heart rate signal is lost.
Fig. 5. Place the wearlink belt below the pad
2.5. Receipt of heart rate signals
The receiver calculated heart rate on the basis of time average
algorithm between two successive heart beats and counted it in 5,
15 or 60 second intervals. For measurements, the apparatuses
were set to a 5 second interval. The first value read was calculated
from the first four values of the heart beat [6].
Although electrodes had been fixed with great care, the
reaction was still not optimal. Disturbances occurred during the
receipt of heart rate, which later resulted in the fall of the curve
denoting the heart rate in the graph. Fig. 6 shows the original copy
of the loss of heart rate signal in time of measurements.
Fig. 6. The loss of heart rate signal in time of measurements
(original copy)
Errors in the receipt of the heart rate were indicated not only
as a fall of the curve but also as errors when recording the heart
rate, as presented in Fig. 7, where heart rate fell from 180 bpm to
140 bpm in the interval phase between 25 and 35 minutes. In this
phase, heart rate is constant and does not change, so an error
occurred when recording the heart rate. The receipt was improved
after a certain period of training, more specifically, during the
perspiration phase of the horse. To receive heart rate without
disturbances already in the initial training phase, it was required
to moisten the skin on the contact spots, using a mixture of water
and electrolytes. [7] described how to prepare the mixture of the
kitchen salt (NaCl) and water to achieve the optimal receipt of the
heart rate of milk cows. They calculated the most optimal signal
conductivity in case of the mixture including 87 g of NaCl and 5
litres of water warmed up to 38°C (311 K). The used type of the
transmitter has two electrodes of 20.7 cm2 size, placed in a tightly
closed frame. The electrodes are 9 cm long so that the ECG signal
can be reliably identified. Such design ensures complete water-
tightness. It has a ribbed surface for better contact with the skin.
The distance between the receiver (Polar watch) and the T56H
transmitter was a significant factor influencing continuous signal
receipt. Placing receiver on the saddle close by the T56H
transmitter proved to be the best choice to assure continuous
signal receipt.
2.6. Measuring in individual training phases
To carry out measurements, it was required to divide the
training session into individual phases. As a result, training
session was divided into 3 or 4 phases. The first phase, i.e.
warming up, included slow trotting, quick trotting and gallop. The
next phase was the steeplechase phase, which included primarily
fast gallop. In the last phase, i.e. during cooling down, the heart
rate slowly calmed down during walking. For measuring heart
rate during walking first we used Polar Sport Tester (Fig. 8).
183
Manufacturing and processing
The art equipment for measuring the horse’s heart rate
Fig. 3. An USB adapter
2.3. Possibilities of use of the Polar ProTrainer
5 Equine edition package and the description
of T56H transmitter
The enclosed USB adapter made it possible to transfer data via
an infrared connection to Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine Edition
software. This software makes it possible not only to transfer data
but also to save the data in a systematic way and, at a later stage, to
process the data on a descriptive basis. With data transfer of an
individual training session, the original graph was displayed on the
screen. The curves in the graph indicated the heart rate activity and
the horse’s speed of movement. By previously having set both the
minimum heart rate (30 heart beats per minute - bmp) and the
maximum heart rate (230 heart beats per minute - bmp), a horse’s
heart rates during low, medium and maximum stress were indicated
in the graph. In this way, heart rate at the entrance into individual
phases of stress was clearly indicated [4, 11, 16]. Describe the
methods and the significance of monitoring heart rate of horses,
whereby they define the minimum heart rate limit between 30 and
40 heart beats per minute and the maximum heart rate limit of
a grown-up horse between 220 and 260 heart beats per minute.
A G3 GPS device was used to monitor the speed of movement of
horses during individual training phases. A receiver connected with
the G3 device recorded the horse’s speed of movement and the
distances measured during individual training phases. The average
speed of movement of a horse was given at the pace of km/h, whereas
in graphs, the speed was denoted at the pace of min/km. As a training
session was divided into several phases (trotting, galloping and
steeplechase), it is possible to compare the average speed with the
speed of individual paces (Table 1) quoted by [5, 10].
On the basis of graphical presentation indicating the duration
of stress phases in relation to heart rate (Fig. 4), it was possible to
analyse the influence of training on the heart rate of a horse and to
define the intensity level of stress factors that influence the horse
and its condition during training [12, 14].
The afore-mentioned software is useful not only for
monitoring heart rate, which indicates the influence of stressful
situations upon the horse, but it can reliably indicate occurring or
imminent injuries. In relation to one riding discipline (i.e.
endurance riding), the heart rate has a decisive role when deciding
whether a certain horse can continue competing or whether this
horse will be excluded due to exceeded prescribed heart rate limit.
Table 1.
Speed of movement during individual movement phases [9]
Exercise Speed Heart rate
gaits raiting Foundation
or metres/sec. metres/min km/hour bpm
30í50
basic exercises Pre-start 40í65
Walking 1í2 125 6í8 50í91
Slow Trotting 3í4 250 10í15 80í125
Quick Trotting 4í5 300 15í18 100í160
Cantering 5í6 400 18í21 120í170
Gallop 6í9 500 24í32 160í200
Fast Gallop 13 + 600 + 36í48 + 205í240 +
Fig. 4. Illustrating the duration of stress phases in relation to heart rate (original copy)
This evolution of the WearLink Equine transmitter launched
in 2007 has been fully developed in textile and does not cause any
discomfort to the horse. It features textile electrodes made from
conductive elastic fibres, which adapt perfectly to the movements
of a galloping horse. These electrodes include an absorbent
cushion to ensure permanent contact with the skin and assure
the necessary dampness for relaying the heart rate signal.
The electronic part of the transmitter can be detached to change
the battery and replace the electrode strap.
2.4. Fixing the T56H transmitter on the horse
Previous accustoming of the horse to the transmitter
(habituation) and accurate fixing of electrodes made it possible
to receive heart rate continuously. By habituation to breast collar,
the influence of possible stressful situations, which would only
increase the horse’s heart rate, upon the horse was reduced. When
fixing, the first step is to identify the positive and the negative
electrode. Putting the transmitter into place is extremely simple.
The positive (+) electrode is first placed under the saddlecloth, the
negative electrode (í) is then fixed to the saddle girth and finally
the transmitter is fixed to the saddle (Fig. 5). It is essential
to moisten the contact spots between the electrodes and the hair
as otherwise the heart rate signal is lost.
Fig. 5. Place the wearlink belt below the pad
2.5. Receipt of heart rate signals
The receiver calculated heart rate on the basis of time average
algorithm between two successive heart beats and counted it in 5,
15 or 60 second intervals. For measurements, the apparatuses
were set to a 5 second interval. The first value read was calculated
from the first four values of the heart beat [6].
Although electrodes had been fixed with great care, the
reaction was still not optimal. Disturbances occurred during the
receipt of heart rate, which later resulted in the fall of the curve
denoting the heart rate in the graph. Fig. 6 shows the original copy
of the loss of heart rate signal in time of measurements.
Fig. 6. The loss of heart rate signal in time of measurements
(original copy)
Errors in the receipt of the heart rate were indicated not only
as a fall of the curve but also as errors when recording the heart
rate, as presented in Fig. 7, where heart rate fell from 180 bpm to
140 bpm in the interval phase between 25 and 35 minutes. In this
phase, heart rate is constant and does not change, so an error
occurred when recording the heart rate. The receipt was improved
after a certain period of training, more specifically, during the
perspiration phase of the horse. To receive heart rate without
disturbances already in the initial training phase, it was required
to moisten the skin on the contact spots, using a mixture of water
and electrolytes. [7] described how to prepare the mixture of the
kitchen salt (NaCl) and water to achieve the optimal receipt of the
heart rate of milk cows. They calculated the most optimal signal
conductivity in case of the mixture including 87 g of NaCl and 5
litres of water warmed up to 38°C (311 K). The used type of the
transmitter has two electrodes of 20.7 cm2 size, placed in a tightly
closed frame. The electrodes are 9 cm long so that the ECG signal
can be reliably identified. Such design ensures complete water-
tightness. It has a ribbed surface for better contact with the skin.
The distance between the receiver (Polar watch) and the T56H
transmitter was a significant factor influencing continuous signal
receipt. Placing receiver on the saddle close by the T56H
transmitter proved to be the best choice to assure continuous
signal receipt.
2.6. Measuring in individual training phases
To carry out measurements, it was required to divide the
training session into individual phases. As a result, training
session was divided into 3 or 4 phases. The first phase, i.e.
warming up, included slow trotting, quick trotting and gallop. The
next phase was the steeplechase phase, which included primarily
fast gallop. In the last phase, i.e. during cooling down, the heart
rate slowly calmed down during walking. For measuring heart
rate during walking first we used Polar Sport Tester (Fig. 8).
2.4. Fixing the T56H transmitter
on the horse
2.5. Receipt of heart rate signals 2.6. Measuring in individual training
phases
Research paper
184
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
M. Janzekovic, J. Prisenk, B. Mursec, P. Vindis, D. Stajnko, F. Cus
Volume 41 Issues 1-2 July-August 2010
Fig. 7. Receiver error when recording heart rate (original copy)
Fig. 8. Modified Polar Sport Tester Profi
To analyse heart rate and speed of movement, it was
necessary to mark the transitions between individual phases.
To mark the transition from one phase into another, the rider
pressed the relevant button on the receiver marking the next
phase. In such a way, the receiver recognised the next training
phase and denoted it as required, i.e. lap 1, lap 2 or lap 3. This
function made it possible to analyse heart rate and speed
of movement in individual training phases. Various heart rates
and speeds of movement are the result of various intensity levels
of stress placed on the horse. From Fig. 9 it is evident that, with
increased riding tempo, the heart rate and the speed of movement
of the horse increase proportionally as well.
The original Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software
facilitates the analysis of individual training phases. The afore-
mentioned software gives the number of heart beats, average heart
rate, average speed and distance covered in individual training
phases.
3. Description of achieved results of
own researches
Acquired heart rate signals were transferred via Polar interface
from receiver (Polar watch) to PC. The original graph appeared on
the screen. As expected, heart rate gradually increased with the
increased intensity level of physical stress placed on the horse. In
relation to low stress, also during quick trotting, heart rate reached
the value of 112 heart beats per minute, while during steeplechase
phase, it increased to the value of 160 to 170 heart beats per minute.
This value is associated with the category of heart rate during low
stress (Fig. 9). By monitoring the curve of the speed of movement
of the horse, it is established that speed is increased in individual
training phases, which is understandable as the highest speeds of
movement are achieved in the steeplechase phase. In this phase, the
speed quickly increased indicating the approach of the horse to the
jump. At the moment when the horse was in the air (when
it ‘floated’), the heart rate was reduced rapidly (from 160 to 115
heart beats per minute). Among other things, it was established that
heart beat increased much faster during warming up phase than it
decreased during cooling down phase. This is emphasised by the
fact that heart rate increased, in warming up phase, from the value
associated with a resting horse (30 to 40 bpm) approximately in one
minute, while, during the slow cooling down phase, ten minutes
were required for the heart rate to reach the afore-mentioned value.
According to [4], the heart rate typical of a resting horse is
between 30 and 40 heart beats per minute. During training,
a horse is in a stressful situation, which is indicated by the
average heart rate, measured during all the training phases, which
amounts to 88 heart beats per minute. This value differs very
much from the afore-mentioned heart rate value typical of the
resting phase.
3. Description of achieved
results of own researches
Fig. 9. Oscillation of heart rate and speed of movement of the horse during the entire steeplechase training phase (original copy)
The afore-mentioned Polar equipment recorded the number
of all heart beats during the entire training session. The number
of heart beats during the entire steeplechase training phase and the
number of heart beats during the training session that did not
include steeplechase differ, on average, by 500 to 1000 heart
beats. On the basis of this fact, it is possible to define steeplechase
as a physically very straining and stressful sport [8, 13].
In relation to the stated estimation, the duration of the entire
training session, in which the number of heart beats increases
proportionately, was taken into consideration. One of the
fundamental establishments is that heart rate increases with
increased temperature of the environment during training.
4. Conclusions
Heart rate measurement is not painful; it involves
measurement of physiological stress parameters and has an
advantage over measurements that require blood samples. Polar
Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are state-of-the-art
products that facilitate the receipt of the horse’s heart rate signals.
The accuracy of the acquired results can be compared with those
obtained with ECG measurements. These devices fixed on the
animal body surface do not require long-lasting preparation and
calibration before fixing. Such devices can be easily moved from
one animal to another, which further proves their applicability.
The use of this non-invasive method of measuring heart rate of
sport horses during steeplechase training has proved to be very
helpful. In addition, it can indicate stress.
Acknowledgements
This work has been funded by the Faculty of Agriculture and
Life Sciences under the doctoral thesis.
References
[1] M. Janzekovic, B. Mursec, I. Janzekovic, Techniques of
measuring heart rate in cattle, Tehniski vjestnik 13 (2006)
31-37.
[2] P. Vindis, B. Mursec, C. Rozman, M. Janzekovic, F. Cus,
Biogas production with the use of mini digester, Journal of
Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
26/1 (2008) 99-102.
[3] M. Janzekovic, B. Mursec, F. Cus, A. Ploj, I. Janzekovic,
U. Zuperl, Use of machines for liquid manure aerating and
mixing, Journal of Materials Processing Technology
162-163/1 (2005) 744-750.
[4] T. Art, P. Lekeux, Training-induced modifications in cardio-
respiratory and ventilatory measurments in thoroughbred
horses, Equine Veterinary Journal 25/6 (1993) 532-536.
[5] C. Heipert-Hengst, Equine Sport with Feeling and Know
How, A guideline for health check-ups, exertion control and
controlled training, Finland, 2002, 25-28.
[6] H. Hopster, Coping strategies in dairy cows, Dissertation
Thesis, Wageningen, Agricultural University Wageningen,
1998, 151-152.
185
Manufacturing and processing
The art equipment for measuring the horse’s heart rate
Fig. 7. Receiver error when recording heart rate (original copy)
Fig. 8. Modified Polar Sport Tester Profi
To analyse heart rate and speed of movement, it was
necessary to mark the transitions between individual phases.
To mark the transition from one phase into another, the rider
pressed the relevant button on the receiver marking the next
phase. In such a way, the receiver recognised the next training
phase and denoted it as required, i.e. lap 1, lap 2 or lap 3. This
function made it possible to analyse heart rate and speed
of movement in individual training phases. Various heart rates
and speeds of movement are the result of various intensity levels
of stress placed on the horse. From Fig. 9 it is evident that, with
increased riding tempo, the heart rate and the speed of movement
of the horse increase proportionally as well.
The original Polar ProTrainer 5 Equine edition software
facilitates the analysis of individual training phases. The afore-
mentioned software gives the number of heart beats, average heart
rate, average speed and distance covered in individual training
phases.
3. Description of achieved results of
own researches
Acquired heart rate signals were transferred via Polar interface
from receiver (Polar watch) to PC. The original graph appeared on
the screen. As expected, heart rate gradually increased with the
increased intensity level of physical stress placed on the horse. In
relation to low stress, also during quick trotting, heart rate reached
the value of 112 heart beats per minute, while during steeplechase
phase, it increased to the value of 160 to 170 heart beats per minute.
This value is associated with the category of heart rate during low
stress (Fig. 9). By monitoring the curve of the speed of movement
of the horse, it is established that speed is increased in individual
training phases, which is understandable as the highest speeds of
movement are achieved in the steeplechase phase. In this phase, the
speed quickly increased indicating the approach of the horse to the
jump. At the moment when the horse was in the air (when
it ‘floated’), the heart rate was reduced rapidly (from 160 to 115
heart beats per minute). Among other things, it was established that
heart beat increased much faster during warming up phase than it
decreased during cooling down phase. This is emphasised by the
fact that heart rate increased, in warming up phase, from the value
associated with a resting horse (30 to 40 bpm) approximately in one
minute, while, during the slow cooling down phase, ten minutes
were required for the heart rate to reach the afore-mentioned value.
According to [4], the heart rate typical of a resting horse is
between 30 and 40 heart beats per minute. During training,
a horse is in a stressful situation, which is indicated by the
average heart rate, measured during all the training phases, which
amounts to 88 heart beats per minute. This value differs very
much from the afore-mentioned heart rate value typical of the
resting phase.
Fig. 9. Oscillation of heart rate and speed of movement of the horse during the entire steeplechase training phase (original copy)
The afore-mentioned Polar equipment recorded the number
of all heart beats during the entire training session. The number
of heart beats during the entire steeplechase training phase and the
number of heart beats during the training session that did not
include steeplechase differ, on average, by 500 to 1000 heart
beats. On the basis of this fact, it is possible to define steeplechase
as a physically very straining and stressful sport [8, 13].
In relation to the stated estimation, the duration of the entire
training session, in which the number of heart beats increases
proportionately, was taken into consideration. One of the
fundamental establishments is that heart rate increases with
increased temperature of the environment during training.
4. Conclusions
Heart rate measurement is not painful; it involves
measurement of physiological stress parameters and has an
advantage over measurements that require blood samples. Polar
Sport Tester and Polar Equine RS800cx G3 are state-of-the-art
products that facilitate the receipt of the horse’s heart rate signals.
The accuracy of the acquired results can be compared with those
obtained with ECG measurements. These devices fixed on the
animal body surface do not require long-lasting preparation and
calibration before fixing. Such devices can be easily moved from
one animal to another, which further proves their applicability.
The use of this non-invasive method of measuring heart rate of
sport horses during steeplechase training has proved to be very
helpful. In addition, it can indicate stress.
Acknowledgements
This work has been funded by the Faculty of Agriculture and
Life Sciences under the doctoral thesis.
References
[1] M. Janzekovic, B. Mursec, I. Janzekovic, Techniques of
measuring heart rate in cattle, Tehniski vjestnik 13 (2006)
31-37.
[2] P. Vindis, B. Mursec, C. Rozman, M. Janzekovic, F. Cus,
Biogas production with the use of mini digester, Journal of
Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
26/1 (2008) 99-102.
[3] M. Janzekovic, B. Mursec, F. Cus, A. Ploj, I. Janzekovic,
U. Zuperl, Use of machines for liquid manure aerating and
mixing, Journal of Materials Processing Technology
162-163/1 (2005) 744-750.
[4] T. Art, P. Lekeux, Training-induced modifications in cardio-
respiratory and ventilatory measurments in thoroughbred
horses, Equine Veterinary Journal 25/6 (1993) 532-536.
[5] C. Heipert-Hengst, Equine Sport with Feeling and Know
How, A guideline for health check-ups, exertion control and
controlled training, Finland, 2002, 25-28.
[6] H. Hopster, Coping strategies in dairy cows, Dissertation
Thesis, Wageningen, Agricultural University Wageningen,
1998, 151-152.
4. Conclusions
References
Acknowledgements
Research paper
186
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
M. Janzekovic, J. Prisenk, B. Mursec, P. Vindis, D. Stajnko, F. Cus
Volume 41 Issues 1-2 July-August 2010
[7] M. Janzekovic, I. Janzekovic, B. Mursec, Researches and
applicability of noninvasive method of measuring of heart
rate in cattle, Proceedings of the 16th International DAAAM
Symposium “Intelligent Manufacturing & Automation:
Focus on young researchers and scientists”, Opatija, Croatia,
2005, 173-174.
[8] P. Jensen, The ethology of domestic animals, An introductory
text, CAB International, CABI Publishing, 2002, 79-98.
[9] Polar Equine edition RS800cx G3, Heart rate monitor, users
instruction manual, Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland, 2009.
[10] F. Cus, B. Mursec, Databases for technological information
systems, Journal of Materials Processing Technology
157-158 (2004) 75-81.
[11] B. Mursec, M. Janzekovic, F. Cus, U. Zuperl, Comparison of
rollers after sowing of buckwheat, Journal of Achievements in
Materials and Manufacturing Engineering 17 (2006) 269-272.
[12] M. Janzekovic, M. Brus, B. Mursec, F. Cus, Accuracy of
calculation of body mass on the basis of measurements,
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing
Engineering 23/2 (2007) 47-50.
[13] D. Weiss, S. Helmreich, E. Mostl, A. Dzidic,
R.M. Bruckmaier, Coping capacity of diary cows during the
change from conventional to automatic milking, Journal of
Animal Science 82/2 (2004) 563-570.
[14] K. Hagen, J. Langbein, C. Schmied, D. Lexer, S. Waiblinger,
Heart rate variability in dairy cows-influences of breed and
milking system, Physiology and Behavior 85/2 (2005)
195-200.
[15] A.C. Guyton, J.E. Hall, Medical physiology, Tenth Edition,
Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 2000, 96-113.
[16] D.M. Broom, K.G. Johonson, Stress and animal welfare,
First Edition, Chapman & Hall, London, 1993, 211-220.
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Individuals may differ remarkably in the way they cope with this problem. In such a situation, broadly speaking, their behaviour ranges between actively avoiding or tackling the problem and passively undergoing it. These two behavioural patterns strongly resemble the classical stress responses, ie fight/flight versus conservation/withdrawal, and are characterized in rodents and man by a specific, integrated pattern of cognitive, emotional, behavioural and physiological responses, termed coping strategies or coping styles .The active coping style is characterized by active behavioural responses as well as by dominating sympathetic activity. Increased concentrations of primarily noradrenaline and to a lesser extent adrenalin and glucocorticoid accompany active coping responses. Behavioural inhibition and activation of both the adrenomedullary and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical systems is typical of the passive coping style. Passive coping is associated with increased concentration of adrenalin and corticosteroids and to a lesser degree also of noradrenaline.Increase in heart rate is suitable for measuring dominating sympathetic activity. Plasma concentrations of cortisol are used for estimating adrenocortical activity. To reliably measure these two parameters in dairy cows, methods were developed for both the recording of heart rate and the 'stress-free' collection of blood samples.For heart rate measurements in dairy cows, the Polar® Sport Tester has been modified and validated (Chapter 2). Simultaneous heart rate recordings with both the Polar® and classical ECG-equipment indicated significant correlations between the measurements when cows were quietly standing (0.88) or walking on a treadmill (0.72). Artefacts, caused by muscle contraction, could be easily recognized by their characteristic heart rate patterns. Accordingly, missing values instead of erroneous measurements were produced.A method for collecting only a few blood samples from many cows is reported in Chapter 3. Evidence is produced that baseline cortisol concentrations can be measured in single blood samples that are collected by jugular puncture within 1 min of first approaching the cow. To prevent handling from confounding cortisol concentrations, it is necessary that cows are accustomed to handling and to being restrained. When blood samples need to be collected repeatedly, however, jugular puncture may induce an increase in cortisol concentrations which seems to depend on the handling experience of the animal and on individual differences.The separation of cow and calf, 2-3 days after calving, evoked only a slight increase in heart rate in cows during the first minute after separation (Chapter 4). During the first 10 min after separation, no other behavioural (activity, vocalisations) or physiological (heart rate, cortisol) signs of stress could be detected. This indicated that the removal of the calf after bonding could not be used for triggering an acute stress response in dairy cows in further experiments.In Chapter 5, the preference of dairy cows for visiting a particular side of the milking parlour has been studied in the light of evidence in mice that active coping animals easily develop behavioural routines. Marked differences were found between individual cows in consistency of parlour side choice. Some cows systematically visited one side of the parlour for a longer time, whereas others alternated randomly. Social factors hardly influenced this individual trait. It was surprising, however, that in cows which consistently visited one side of the parlour, deprivation of choice hardly elicited any stress responses (behaviour, heart rate, milk production). Side preference of dairy cows in the milking parlour thus seemed to be a consistent behavioural routine with only unimportant implications for the welfare of cows if it were to be interrupted.In Chapter 6, the short- and long-term consistency of behavioural and physiological responses of dairy cows, which were repeatedly tested in a 'novel environment' test, is described. Individual cows showed consistent and individual-specific stress responses. Consistency appeared in behaviour, in heart rate and in plasma cortisol concentrations within one week. Consistency of individual responses was also found for heart rate and plasma cortisol concentrations when tests were spaced 1 yr apart. Handling prior to the exposure to the novel arena, besides the exposure itself appeared to be an important stress-inducing element in the novel environment test. The study produced clear evidence that individual dairy cows differ consistently in the degree to which they respond to environmental challenge, ie a combination of novelty, isolation and handling. The treatment offers exciting opportunities for the objective assessment of an underlying characteristic or psychobiological profile, perhaps fearfulness.Ten cows with low and eight cows with high plasma cortisol concentrations in response to the short stay in novel environment, were selected out of the group of 58 heifers. Low- and high responders were labelled LC- and HC-cows respectively. After one year, while in second parity, these cows were separated from herd-mates one after another and isolated and tethered for 55 hr in a stanchion barn (Chapter 7). Intra-mammary administration of E. coli endotoxin produced an acute and transient mastitic episode in all cows with only mild mastitic and systemic reactions. As far as their response to endotoxin is concerned, HC- and LC-cows responded similarly. In response to isolation, however, HC-cows showed stronger stress responses than LC-cows, as indicated by a higher increase in rectal temperature, in cortisol concentration after injection of endotoxin and in the number of vocalisations. Between 8 and 10 h post injection (PI) the number of circulating lymphocytes in HC- but not in LC-cows decreased markedly (40%) to 1.58 x 10 6</SUP>cells.ml -1</SUP>and remained so until 21 h PI. These results show that the stress response of dairy cows during social isolation is associated with the number of peripheral blood leukocytes after intra-mammary administration of endotoxin. Because plasma cortisol concentrations hardly differed between HC- and LC-cows, noncorticosteroid factors are likely to be involved.In chapter 8, current theories about the control of animal behaviour and the generation of emotional responses will be briefly introduced. These two topics, together with the current concept of adaptation and stress, provide a basis for discussing the findings of this study in an integrated way. The question is addressed why the dichotomy between active and passive coping animals, as reported in rats and mice, is likely to be different in dairy cows. Cumulative effects of domestication, intensive rearing and handling, one-sided selection for milk production and a feminine brain may have weakened the stress response of dairy cows. Therefore, distinct coping styles may be distinguished, although it is likely that such forces have shifted the coping behaviour of dairy cows to a more passive style. Finally the question is addressed how results from this study could contribute to the development of future management practices and breeding strategies.
Article
The effects of training and detraining on ventilation during a standardised exercise test were investigated. Ten healthy Thoroughbred horses underwent 5 standardised treadmill exercise tests (SET): SET1, at the start of the experimental period; SET2, after 3 weeks acclimatisation; SET3, after 3 week of aerobic training; SET4 after 3 weeks of anaerobic (i.e. interval) training; and SET5, after 3 weeks of detraining. The SETs were carried out in an air-conditioned laboratory on a treadmill inclined at 6°. Respiratory airflow, tidal volume (VT), respiratory frequency (RF) and expired minute volume (VE) were obtained using a face mask and 2 ultrasonic pneumotachographs. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) and carbon dioxide production (Vco2 peak) values were calculated on a breath-by-breath basis, using a mass spectrometer. Heart rate (HR) was continuously measured with a polar horse tester. Oxygen pulse (Vo2/HR) and ventilatory equivalent for O2 were calculated from the collected data. Venous blood was sampled before and after the SET for lactate, pH and haemoglobin determinations. The results indicated that trained horses showed significant modifications of all values, except VT, RF and VE. This study suggests that, in horses, the increase in VO2 induced by training seems to be mainly due to cardiovascular and haematological changes rather than to ventilatory changes. Consequently, while all the other systems implicated in exercise physiology can be efficiently improved and trained, the ventilatory capacity has only limited ability to adapt to training.